Safaricom-led consortium has appointed Vodacom DRC managing director Anwar Soussa as the boss of the new telco in Ethiopia effective July 1, 2021.
Mr Soussa is also the chairperson of Vodacash (M-Pesa), a position he has held since 2017. He will report to the board of the company, as well as the chief executive of Safaricom, Mr Peter Ndegwa.
“Anwar will lead the Ethiopian Operating Company on behalf of the Global Partnership for Ethiopia Consortium,” said Safaricom in a statement released Monday.
“He will be responsible for execution of the consortium’s goal to bring about transformational economic and social impact in Ethiopia and positively enhance the lives of its over 112 million people.”
Mr Soussa, a Greek national, will also be tasked with formulating strategies to ensure delivery of quality and affordable mobile and internet connectivity to Ethiopians, the statement read.
Prior to joining Vodacom, Mr Soussa served as the chief executive officer of Airtel in Uganda and Chad. He has also worked in various senior leadership capacities at MTN and Digicel, among other telcos.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the American College of Greece (Deree) and a master’s degree in marketing from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.
The Safaricom-led consortium —GPE— last month won the bid for a telecoms licence to operate in Ethiopia and is expected to enter the market of more than 100 million people next year. The licence has been awarded for an initial 15 years.
The consortium is 56 percent owned by Safaricom, 6.2 percent by Vodacom, 25 percent by Sumitomo, the Japanese conglomerate and 10 percent by the UK sovereign investment fund, CDC.
Safaricom and its partners disclosed last year they signed a Sh53.9 billion ($500 million) loan agreement with the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC).
The loan will be used to pay for the operating licence and finance the design, development, and operation of a new mobile network firm.